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Climate Change Denial in the Age of Trump

Climate Change Denial in the Age of Trump

Michael Mann

With a climate change denier in the White House, climate denialism has reached a new low point in America. Indeed, my co-author Tom Toles and I have devoted a whole new chapter to the matter ("Return to the Madhouse: Climate Change Denial in the Age of Trump") in the new paperback edition of our book The Madhouse Effect (now available for pre-order).

What matters in the immediate term to Trump is getting re-elected.

That means telling the voters who work and invest in the fossil fuels industry what they want to hear.

If that means he has to tell them the lie that he’s saving the coal industry–he’s not–he certainly will and has.
If that means he has to tell them that KXL is up and running–it’s not–he will and has.
If that means he has to make some groundless statement about Arctic ice…well, you get it.

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Remember in the Monkey Wrench Gang when the guy on top of the dam dreaming about his hometown submerged under water? He prayed for a directed calamity that would wipe out the dam. Now was a good time and he didn’t care if he went with it.

I feel similarly but being a science minded person I don’t pray much. Instead, I commune with creation in my own way.

If I thought I could, I would direct prayers for divine cosmic intervention against devil worshipers like Trump and every other billionaire struggling to amass more personal wealth while they heap pain and misery on peaceful law abiding families.


The bottom line with this despicable piece of scum came from Trump himself -
"I’m the only person that matters."
This walking clusterfuck will drag us down to the lowest levels I have ever seen. He is deeply wrong about everything and his idiot, fact-averse cult and his media enablers will cheer him on while we self-destruct as a country.


I recommend going to Truthdig and reading an article by Chris Hedges called “The Useful Idiocy of Donald Trump”. Hedges says much the same thing about this bloated monster.

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I happened to come across some “lecture” on YouTube from a climate change denier and the number of ignorant fools who posted in support of his bullshit was very depressing. The level of denialism based on no real facts was astounding. Several posters said that the Earth is actually cooling! It distresses me greatly to see this level of idiocy take hold in the country. This will not end well.


Trump will remain a climate denier as long as his political supporters are climate deniers. He has to for his political survival. Remember that John McCain actually had his name on a climate bill but since then the voters forced him to backtrack. And Lindsey Graham declared he wanted to work on climate change with the Democrats and he too was forced to backtrack. These supporters for the most part probably get all of their information from the right wing echo chamber. So regardless of what the scientists say that information is never reaching them, at least in an accurate form. That is the situation. Those of us who believe the science need to keep working to fight global warming in any way we can and work to defeat as many Republicans as possible in elections.

I know. My co-workers, my friends, acquaintances, and even my family all are hard-core ultra right-wing Rethuglicans that put Trump on a pedestal just slightly below Jesus Christ. Since his election, they have become even more blatant in their racism and xenophobia, but what really shocked me the most was their sudden transformation from logical, critically-thinking (or so I thought) individuals to stupid lemmings vomiting up the usual Trumpish BS talking points. Case in point, my sister who is a college-educated and intelligent individual who works in the medical field, and was very gung-ho about recycling and such, suddenly stopped doing so and now says climate change is a hoax - just like her new best pal, Trump says. I was shocked at the 180 degrees that so many people I know have taken since Trump’s election. Very, very depressing. I feel as if I am in the middle of a weird alternate universe where up is down and down is up, and even people I thought I knew are now strangers.


Your story is very disturbing. I would suspect many people have a similar story. It is hard to understand climate denial, particularly when it comes to people who attended or graduated from college, but one explanation is a conspiracy theory based on the New World Order. The gist of it seems to be belief the UN is at the center of a plot to enslave all humans. The “hoax” of global warming was therefore created to control behavior. The international climate meetings are run by the UN which plays into this. The right wingers seeing Trump pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement could then conclude that he did this to save us from enslavement. Part of this is a belief that the UN’s Agenda 21 which involves sustainability is also designed for enslavement of populations. The right wing is so stirred up about Agenda 21 that the organization ICLEI USA which helps local governments fight climate change no longer posts a list of the communities around the country that are members because of attacks from the right wing. The amount of paranoia out there about the UN is really hard to fathom.


Thanks CD and Michael Mann.
From article:
“When it comes to climate change policy in the current administration, our best hope is perhaps that Trump comes to realize that climate change is a threat not just to human civilization but to the one thing he cares about—Trump. But don’t count on it.”

I am not counting on it.

We are so far behind the curve on “climate change policy” within administrations . . . . as in decades . . as in . . . going back to the beginning of the creation of “administrations”. Combine that with the fact that human induced biosphere collapse goes SO much deeper than “policy”. I better stop here before going dark . .

Here is a chipper little ode to Trump, sea level rise and Mar a lago:

I second that Bruce Bennett. An excellent (albeit gut wrenchingly accurate, Imo) piece by Hedges.

The “bloated monster” extends beyond Trump as Hedges describes.

The complicity of the MSM in this murderous oligarchy was on full display last night at the Grammys with their “Fire and Fury skit”. Listen to the crowd cheering at the end when HRC’s visage is revealed:

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I have a similar tale at my workplace, a federal regulatory agency, but in my case, there is this incredible stark boundary between the divisions that employ scientists (chemists and physicists - but not geologists) and divisions that employ engineers (civil engineers, mining engineers, geologists) in the agency. The former, like Dr. Mann, despise Trump, the latter (save for this writer, and a couple younger and/or immigrant employees) all love him.

The other stark boundary is the city-suburb boundary. You will find very few Trumpists residing within the city limits of Pittsburgh, but starting with the inner ring of suburban boroughs it becomes 50% Trumpists - then increasing to almost 100 percent in the outlying large-lot-McMansion belt.


Can you please let off with the patholoigical mass-hysterical, disturbingly Lord-of-the-Flies-esque, or even 1984/Emmanuel Goldsteinesque, Hillary-hate? Have you ever considered that you might have been a victim of a very clever psychological-op to get Trump elected?

Hillary was a typical compromised USAn politician, no worse than the rest, at least marginally better than some - especially the current white house resident.

Interesting demographics. I live in a very small (25K) Illinois town, surrounded by even smaller towns/farming communities (300-5000). My town used to be home to several large factories, which have, in the past decade, closed and moved to Mexico.

Sooo wish I lived in a large city. Except for the fact that I hate large cities…

I think it is the demographics one sees in every US city. What are called “blue states” (or by world color conventions “red” states) are simply states with a majority of their population living in larger cities. Take away NYC, and New York would probably be a so-called “red” state. Illinois is only a so-called “blue” state because of Chicago.

You would probably like Pittsburgh - everything is real here - a lot of neighborhoods have no corporate chain anything - almost Europe-like. Walkable. Lots of cultural things to do. But the yuppies have discovered it and it is becoming expensive.

I go to the S. Illinois coal mining areas fairly frequently. I’d die if I had to live there.


I’m in California, but cover territory in the northern reaches of the state. The office divide you describe fits pretty well here too.

So true! When I lived in Kentucky, they had to pretty much keep Mammoth Cave’s status as a UN-UNESCO World heritage site secret. They put up signs around the Mammoth Cave National Park, expecting it to be a source of local pride - as it would in every other part of the world, but then took them down because the locals were the exactly the opposite of proud - they were alarmed by it. Socialistic UN One World Government!!! :open_mouth:

Come to think of it, many western Kentuckians are opposed to the National Park itself…

Yeah, even California is probably only “blue” because of LA, SF/Oakland/Bay area, maybe San Diego and other sprawling urbanized areas around those cities.

And regarding the way scientists tend to be at least moderately left (by US standards anyway), that is due to the same reason that universities are so full of left-thinking people - because universities are where smart people are.

And. of course, most engineers are just people who were not quite smart enough to be scientists - I’m the best example of that - as a kid, I dreamt of being a great scientist like JFK exhorted us to be, but once I was in college, limitations of aptitude became apparent…

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I think you will find that in the suburbs of the big cities on the east coast (where I reside) there are not that many Trump supporters. When you reach the ex-burbs that is where you will find them in great numbers. Check the voting maps of the 2016 election and see which way counties around Boston, NYC, Philly, Baltimore, and DC went. Pittsburgh is basically the Mdwest although it is in the Keystone state. I would say on the coast the boundary is suburb-exburb but in Pittsburgh city-suburb as you say.

Actually, please don’t offend us by calling us “Midwestern” Pittsburgh is Appalachian - although not to be confused with the “appalaysheeans” up your way which unlike further southwest, is blessed to excess by not having any coal, oil, or gas… God bless igneous and metamorphic rocks…

I am guessing you are from Boston. Are you a friend of internet/college radio talk-show host David Pakman? His politics are a lot like yours…